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Rocket Launchers

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, Barbara Tharp, MS, and Judith Dresden, MS.
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Introduction to Phylogenetic Kingdoms Comparison Activity

The objective of this activity is for students to identify at least 4 major attributes and 3 examples of organisms of each of the kingdoms. 

Overview of Comparison Activity

Begin the activity by listing each of the kingdoms (for simplicity, we used a traditional five kingdom system). Using "flip chart" paper, poster board, or chalk board space, place a label for each kingdom around the room. Divide the class into groups or teams and give each a zip-lock bag with a variety of characteristics and examples from the different kingdoms written on "self-stick removable" notes. Teams can use existing knowledge or references you specify to place "sticky" notes from their bag under the appropriate kingdom label (for example, "cell wall with chitin" would be placed under Kingdom Fungi). As teams finish, they should move from kingdom to kingdom and see what characteristics have been placed under each and make a list of things they disagree with or have questions about. To conclude the activity, discuss the attributes of each kingdom, make corrections, and draw conclusions.